Platzhalter Motorsport

Panasonic Toyota Racing: Toyota signs three-year deal with Ralf Schumacher (2)

Toyota signs three-year deal with Ralf Schumacher (2)

Further to media enquiries on today's announcement that Toyota has signed a three-year contract with Ralf Schumacher from the 2005 season, please find below three short Q+A with Team Principal of Panasonic Toyota Racing, Tsutomu Tomita.

What will happen to Olivier Panis and Cristiano da Matta?
Tsutomu Tomita: "Toyota is pleased with the efforts of Olivier Panis and Cristiano da Matta since they joined the team in 2003 and both are under consideration for the remaining race seat in 2005."

When will Ralf Schumacher join the team?
Tomita: "Toyota has signed Ralf on a three-year deal fully effective from 1 January 2005. We do not know yet when his first run in a Toyota will be, but we hope to get him testing as soon as possible after the GP of Brazil. We will be able to use him for PR and promotional activities from 1 January 2005."

How much is Toyota paying Ralf Schumacher?
Tomita: "Whilst we cannot divulge any specific contract details, we have negotiated a reasonable deal. As usually happens regarding Formula 1 budget figures, the amount of money reported by the media is largely overestimated. The rumours about the contract between Toyota and Ralf Schumacher are not an exception."